‘Secure pets’ plea from Budleigh guide dog owner

Penny Gatter with her guide dog Milo.

Penny Gatter with her guide dog Milo. - Credit: Archant

A Budleigh Salterton guide dog owner is urging people to make sure their pets are properly secured when left outside High Street shops.

Penny Gatter, 68, who has limited vision, was walking through the town with her dog, Milo, when another dog ‘lunged’ at them.

The incident forced Penny and Labrador/retriever cross Milo into the road.

Penny, who lives in Moormead, would like dog owners to think about where and how they tie up their dogs.

She said: “I was going down past the Co-op, in High Street, Budleigh. The path narrows slightly and we got alongside this poor dog which wasn’t happy about being tied up.

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“The dog was howling and, as we got to him, he snapped at us. Milo didn’t realise what was behind us, but we were in the road.

“I told a woman it was lucky there wasn’t a car coming and she told me there was, but it had slowed up – I had no idea. Imagine if a bus had been coming down the road?

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“Milo has got over it, but it has made him very aware of other dogs now – I’m not sure what can be done about it.

“I cannot see far enough in front of me and I don’t think I should be made to cross the road.

“I just want to make people aware - people do leave dogs in silly places.”

Since the incident, Penny has walked five-year-old Milo up and down that section of High Street to help him regain his confidence.

Penny relies on Milo to allow her the independence to get out of the house.

Last year, Penny and Milo, who have been together for more than three years, were attacked by another dog while walking along Budleigh seafront.

However, due to his guide dog training, he did not attempt to defend himself.

Penny said guide dogs can be retired because of incidents such as attacks and it took 18 months and more than £30,000 to train a dog.

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